Over 300 new cases of Covid-19 reported; many from now-shut entertainment venues

Thailand found 334 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, with most of the cases being found in Bangkok.

Of the new cases, 327 were local infections and seven were found in quarantine facilities.

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)’s spokeswoman said of the 327 local cases, 216 were found in Bangkok.

“The number of new cases being found via tests at medical facilities is as high as the outbreak in Bang Khae’s markets, and we are quite concerned about the situation,” said Dr Apisamai Srirangsan, the CCSA spokeswoman.

Many of the cases found in the greater Bangkok area have been traced to entertainment venues within the capital. There are now 291 cases stemming from visits to entertainment venues between March 22 and April 6, Apisamai said.

Bangkok’s main clusters are now located at entertainment venues in Thonglor, Ekkamai and Chatuchak.

The seven hotspot venues include Krystal Club (Thonglor), Ekamai Beer House (Ekkamai), Baan Phahol Café & Bar (Chatuchak), Barbarbar (Thonglor), Dollar Bangkok (Thonglor), The Cassette Music Bar (Ekkamai) and Dirty Bar (Thonglor-Ekkamai).

On Tuesday, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration ordered the temporary shutdown of 196 entertainment venues in three districts including Khlong Toei, Watthana and Bang Khae between April 6 and 19.

The cluster in Bangkok first started with a group of college students who got infected at entertainment venues in Pathumthani, mainly at BLUR in Rangsit Phirom where six cases were found on March 22.

The infection, which spread to other customers and a music band, travelled to other entertainment venues in Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan and Bangkok, eventually leading to the recent outbreaks in Thonglor and Ekkamai.

Apart from the 200 cases in Bangkok, the 14 other provinces with reported cases confirmed to be related to the entertainment venues cluster between March 22 and April 6 include: Chonburi (23), Samut Prakan (18), Suphanburi (14), Nonthaburi (13), Nakhon Pathom (7), Pathumthani (5), Chiang Mai (2), Chomphon (2), Samut Sakhon (2) and one each in Loei, Kanchanaburi, Tak, Lopburi and Sa Kaeo.

Apisamai said that despite the new outbreaks, Songkran festivities are still permitted to take place as of Wednesday.

She asked that people remain vigilant in terms of Covid-prevention measures, especially when they are visiting the elderly during the holiday period. She also asked people to avoid unnecessary travel.

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